Meet Alexandra Silber!
Hello, I am Alexandra Silber. I am a Broadway and West End veteran, theatre artist, singer, author, and educator. I also have a Pouch after an 8-year battle with ulcerative colitis and a proud IBD “thriver!”
The theme for our 55th Annual Gala this year is icoNYC – Broadway’s Got Guts! What does this theme mean to you?
New York is a diaspora made up of diverse, passionate, loud, glorious people from every walk of life and though we were hit hard the last few years, we are fighters, and we are still here. As the late Fred Ebb said “Start spreading the news” — New York is alive.
What are you most excited about the gala?
It is always amazing to have allies perform alongside Crohn’s and colitis patients— it makes one feel supported and less alone. But at this benefit, it is unspeakably powerful to see professional performers at the highest, most Olympian level of the profession perform at the height of their powers as if to say directly to Crohn’s and colitis “you are a pernicious but manageable disease and though you’re tough I am tougher! You not going to stop me from sharing my gifts and dreaming my dreams.”
Why do you think it is important for people to attend this gala?
So many charitable organizations are hurting in this post-pandemic reality, but one of the things that makes Crohn’s and colitis distinct is its invisibility. It is an invisible, chronic illness with devastating consequences and its silence is fueled by the “impolite” nature of discussing bowel health. It is a disease that effects millions of people in a myriad of ways, and deserves research, funding and above all: a cure.
You have been open about sharing your ulcerative colitis journey with your followers. What made you decide to do this and why do you think it is important?
I realized that when I looked for role models “out there” in the entertainment industry and in the wider world, that there was a gaping hole of silence around people willing to discuss living with IBD and autoimmunity. Diseases like these thrive on shame—our diseases take root and sometimes lethally accelerate in that silence. Thus, by sharing the facts of my truth (within reason—I’m very private with my vulnerabilities, which are earned by my closest friends and family), but I am not ashamed of the realities of my body. And I welcome anyone out there to join me in that feeling.
Silence is shame’s greatest nourishment.
If you can say one thing to someone who has just been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, what would it be?
You are not alone.